Racist. What does it mean to be racist? At a time where we are so far past segregation and discrimination, it is insane to think that it may just be creeping back up on us. So, why now? What is the issue with other people living their lives normally, but having a different skin color? Now that is a mystery.
I grew up in a family that was racist. I would not say that they are “racists,” so to speak, but there were definitely snide remarks let out of their mouths about other races constantly. Since I grew up with this type of environment, I felt that it was normal. All of my friends were white and Jewish. I had people in my class who were diverse, but I never really thought anything of it. It was not until middle and high school where I really started to analyze it. I made friends with people of all different races, and I did not care. I looked at them as normal people, which I hoped they would do for me too. I thought to myself, how could I sit here and watch my family rip apart my friends just because their name was different?
More and more, I see people offending others for who they are. It is kind of like blaming them for being born, in a way. They cannot control it, so why should we be so mean?
Part of my answer came from the media, and society as a whole. The media portrays white people in a superior way. It has gotten a little bit better over the years, but it is still present. There used to be predominantly white American Girl dolls. You maybe saw two or three of the girls who were colored, but never any more. TV commercials always had white people in them. Even in movies, the whites always tend to be the “good” people. And we cannot forget the scandal that happened with the Oscars. People complained that the Academy was racist because they were picking all of the white actors and actresses. There are so many controversies over this, and for what? Whites consistently defend themselves, when they are usually in the wrong. Just because you have a black best friend does not justify the fact that you made a racist comment. Just because you did not say the joke, does not mean that laughing is okay. Just because the color of your skin is the so-called “superior” one, does not give you the precedent to hurt other people because they are not of the same color.
I do not think that there will ever be one definitive answer to this issue, but we do need to start looking at this with a different set of eyes. This “white privilege” thing that we have going on is not right. You cannot blame someone for having a different color of skin than you, and you should not judge them just because they do. Put yourself in their shoes. What would happen if you were a person of color? Those racist jokes would not be so funny anymore.